Grain boundary (GB) doped SrTiO3 exhibits interesting electroceramic phenomena including varistor and barrier layer capacitor behaviour. We present here our investigation of GB acceptor-doped SrTiO3 using analytical electron microscopy including electron holography. Mn was diffused into sintered polycrystalline SrTiO3 to attain GBs which are rich in Mn. The presence and spatial extent of Mn at the GBs were analysed using x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) and parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy (PEELS). The valence state of Mn was determined using PEELS to be predominantly +2. Finally, transmission high-energy electron holography was utilized to directly image and quantify the electrostatic potential and associated space-charge across the GBs directly. The holography results reveal a negatively charged GB with positive space-charge, indicating that Mn with a valence of +2 resides as an acceptor dopant on the Ti site at the GB core. The barrier height and local charge density distribution, including the Debye length, of the double Schottky barrier at the GB are derived from these holography results. This investigation demonstrates the usefulness of electron holography as a bulk-sensitive technique to probe the statics and dynamics of electrostatic field distribution and electrical charge across interfaces in technologically useful materials, and the need to employ diverse analytical techniques for such an investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films